Newsletter banner March

Pioneer Paw Prints Newsletter March 2018

Newsletter Header Image Kid and Chalk BoardIcon Principal's News in the Newsletter

  • March 5th: PTA Meeting at 6:00
  • March 7th: Hot Lunch
  • March 8th: Candy Orders Due
  • March 9th: Science Fair Slips Due
  • March 10th: Barnes & Noble Book Fair
  • March 13th: Spring Picture Money Due
  • March 15th: Science Fair!
  • March 20th: School Board Meeting
  • March 21st: Hot Lunch
  • March 30th: No School

Principal’s News

Dear Panther Families,

Thank you all for rising early to come in for pancakes with us! Our 16th Annual Panther Pancake Breakfast was another HUGE success! We enjoyed getting to mingle with everyone and loved seeing all of those sticky, smiling faces! A special thanks to Mr. Kevin Maddox and Mr. Glen Seavy for once again cooking up the hotcakes for our families and staff. We appreciate you!

This winter has proven to be an absolutely brutal one! From the enormous amount of snow to the dangerously low temperatures, it has forced us to close our doors more than once in the name of safety. We appreciate all of your understanding and patience as we work avidly to ensure our students stay safe and warm. As we drift into March, we hope to see the temperatures rise and the snow melt away. We are
more than eager to welcome Spring!

This month brings with it some very exciting events! We are thrilled to welcome  new family to our district! Three new students will arrive the first week of March. Welcome to our Panther Family! We will also host our annual Pioneer Science Fair this month! This awesome event will take place on Thursday, March 14th. This is an incredible opportunity for students of ALL ages to learn and work with the scientific process. I encourage each of our Panthers to participate! Please submit your entry forms to me by March 9th! Mark your calendars for our Spring Book Fair at Barnes and Noble on March 10th. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to support our Panther library and our avid readers!

It is hard to believe that we are already on the downhill slide to summer vacation. Now, more than ever, we are asking for our Panther Communities support as we continue to plan for the future. It is with great pleasure that I announce that Pioneer is looking to transition from a K-6 to a K-8 elementary school in the 2018-2019 school year. This transition brings with it an enormous amount of opportunity for
expansion of our curricula and programs. As exciting as this is, we NEED your help! In order to be effective in our transition and to receive the funding necessary, we need an accurate picture of what our student count will be next year. An enrollment survey will be sent home in the next couple of weeks. We would greatly appreciate it if you would fill out and return this to the school.

We look forward to working with our Panther community to ensure the absolute best learning environment for our students. Thank you all for your continued support!

—Melissa Schnitzmeier – Principal, Pioneer Elementary

Hearts all in a row representing Gratitude

Newsletter Banner School News Pioneer


In literacy, we will continue to explore rhyming words as well as making connections to stories read aloud. Students will have opportunities to identify the part of the story where they made the connection. (e.g., “When I saw the picture
of……it made me think about….”)

In writing, students are learning to write a sentence(s) by using the word wall and stretching out unfamiliar words by writing the sounds he/she hears. Students are encouraged to draw a detailed picture to match his/her sentence. Kindergarten students are encouraged to use beginning sounds and to describe the picture using a complete thought (e.g., “I am making a snowman.”)

Last month we focused on the letters e, g, l, and blends. Please review the letters and their sounds by having your child say and write words or draw pictures that begin with these letters. The words we focused on last month were: are, that, do, one, two, three, four, five, here, go, from. Have your child practice saying and printing these words. These are important words for your child to know as they will appear in many texts. Have your child find these words in books you read together.

In math, we finished our unit on composing and decomposing numbers to 10. The students also wrote number sentence when making these numbers.

Have a marvelous March!

—Mrs. Burns

First Grade

Cartoon ABC BlocksDear Parents,

The weeks keep flying by, and it’s hard to believe we are into March! The first graders are continuing to work hard, and learn as much as possible. We have been working hard on new concepts such as contractions in reading and expanded form in math. We are also continuing to write as much as we can. This month, we will be working on writing description pieces, poems, and expository paragraphs. To go along with our writing, the first graders will also be making dioramas of their favorite Magic Tree House book for the Barnes and Noble book fair on March 10th. We are very excited to see how everything turns out.

—Mrs. Rau

Math cartoon and AppleSecond & Third Math

2nd Grade

Second graders are finishing up Topic 7 with adding and subtracting double digit numbers. In the next topic, students will work even more with adding two-digit numbers. They will be regrouping ones to make a ten, adding two and one-digit numbers, adding on a number line, adding more than two numbers, and problem solving using pictures and numbers sense. Students need to practice, practice, practice. Remind students to keep their numbers lined up and neat, when working with them at home. Again, please practice any addition and subtraction you can at home to help keep the kiddos fluent in their math skills.

3rd Grade

Third graders now know how to multiply with 0,1,5,9,and 10, as factors. They have finished Topic 5 and are moving onto 6. In this topic they will use known facts to help with other multiplication problems. They will learn how to multiply using 3,4,6,7,and 8, as factors. Third graders will also be introduced to the distributive property and how to multiply using combinations. Please keep practicing multiplication facts at home, as it is crucial that students master them for upcoming skills.

—Mrs. Eissinger

Second & Third ELA/Science/Social Studies

Cartoon Lady Bug and PencilIt’s already March Madness! March is Read Across America month. In honor of Dr. Seuss, this nation wide reading celebration will begin March 2nd. Reading a wide variety of materials can prepare kiddos for the novels, textbooks, and poetry they will encounter throughout their school career. In addition to nightly reading, parents can help their children grow as readers by talking about the stories you read together. Asking questions like, “Which character reminds you of yourself?” or “What would this story be like if it took place in the future?” Simple questions like these help kiddos to reflect on the story and understand it better. Pennies for patients starts March 1st. Your child will be bringing home information in order to raise money for childhood Leukemia. The entire school has a goal to raise $500 and awareness!!

The Science Fair is Thursday, March 15, 2018. We have only had one student sign up so far. There are prizes and we would really like as many students to get involved as possible. They can enter anything that falls into the Science category… get creative and feel free to reach out to us if your child is interested but isn’t sure what to do. We continue to work on our story books for third grade and short stories for second grade. We are going to be displaying them at the book fair and then your child will be able to take them home. The book fair is Saturday, March 10th at Barnes and Noble. Don’t miss all the fun!

—Mr. McDermott

Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth Grade

4th Grade Math

Well we are finally making our way to fractions here in 4th grade math. Our students are in Topic 11-Fraction Equivalence and Ordering Introduction. In this topic we are learning about factors, multiples, and prime/composite numbers. We will work with equivalent fractions, number lines, and comparing fractions. Then the topic will wrap up with ordering fractions and problem solving with fractions. As always keep practicing multiplication fluency, so that division and fractions come more easily.

—Mrs. Eissinger

Reading & English Language Art

Happy March! We are excited to welcome three new students to our class! The fourth, fifth and sixth graders are working hard at breaking down and analyzing informational texts. This month, the students will select their topic and we will begin to research and publish their expository text essays. In addition, we are beginning a new literature unit, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. So much fun to be had in this Third Trimester!

—Mrs. Schnitzmeier

Cartoon of Kids and Alphabet

4th, 5th, & 6th Grade Math/Science/Social Studies

I am ready for spring! But winter is still here for a bit longer. Please make sure your students are dressed properly for the weather. Spring is not here yet and students will not be allowed outside for recess if they do not have winter clothing.

In math 5th grade is working on fractions. They have learned how to add and subtract fractions so far. We are working on estimating with fractions and converting between mixed numbers and improper fractions. In March will be learning all four operations with mixed numbers. 6th grade is almost done with fractions. All students can add, subtract, and multiply fractions and mixed numbers. Some of the students are still learning how to divide fractions. All 6th graders will be working with integers in March. The students should work through integers quickly and we should be starting to learn about the properties of two-dimensional figures by the end of March.

In science we have started to work on science fair projects. The science fair is fast approaching and students should be busy working on their projects. All 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students will be creating a science project and will be encouraged to participate in the science fair. We will also be learning about life science and exploring the many topics related to plants and animals throughout March.

In social studies we have been learning the basics of economics and started to learn about world geography. We will be finishing up studying economics in March. We will continue to learn about world geography. We will be learning about different places, regions, and people. The class has been enjoying learning about other countries and how to read maps.

In art we have started painting. We will continue with painting into March. We have also been learning about different styles of art such as street art, recycled material art, glass and sugar blowing, and the more abstract types of art such as the modern art movement.

—Miss Schatz

Cartton of Kids around big Letters that say READLibrary

February was fun, fantastic, and completely fabulous! We had Valentine’s Day and our students made a point to be caring and sharing with one another! Plus, we had the annual PANCAKE BREAKFAST! Mr. Maddox and Mr. Seavy were pancake flippers extraordinaire! A chilly day made ever so much better by warmth, hot pancakes, friends, family, love, and laughter! My favorite way to start the day! Our Pancake Breakfast is 16 years old this year! Now that’s a LOT of pancakes! Our annual Spring Barnes & Noble Book Fair is coming up on Saturday, March 10th! It is going to be beyond fabulous! Our theme is Adventures in Books and the different classes have some awesome presentations and displays to share with their families and friends! Grades 4, 5, and 6 will be coming in costume as their favorite book character. They will, upon request, share with us who their character is and why they are a favorite! Grades 2 and 3 have written and illustrated their own books to share with us! I can’t wait to see them! Grade 1 is creating individual dioramas from each student’s favorite book in The Magic Treehouse series! Our Kindergarten class will be performing a song/dance routine for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! You know that is going to be utterly adorable!

We will also have 3 different STEM activities for the contests! One will be creating the perfect paper airplane that will travel the furthest when launched from an airplane launcher, another will be building your own catapult from popsicle sticks and rubber bands then competing to see how many boulders (mini-marshmallows) you can get in a bowl, and lastly we will color and put together straw rockets and we will see which rocket can make it from our launch line to our target! Prizes will be given to the top three winners in each activity! Our raffle is spectacular! The raffle prizes include: 2 Ozobots (wonderful coding robots for hours of discovery and learning) provided by Pioneer PTA, a Paradise Pass (for a family of 5) to the Oasis Water Park (for days of family fun and laughter) provided by the Peterson & Russell families, a Lego Star Wars Mega Kit of BB-8 for hours of creativity and building) provided by the Eissinger family, and lastly a Lego Star Wars Mega kit of the Resistance XWing Fighter (can you say oodles of excitement and quiet building time?) provided by the Schnitzmeier family!

Thank you to my supporters for contributing to a marvelously fantastic Book Fair! Your students absolutely LOVE the Barnes & Noble events! A day of fun, learning, sharing, and winning at life! Pioneer School is the BEST!This Book Fair and all the money earned from the raffle will purchase new books for our library! All you have to say when you purchase any items from Barnes & Noble on Saturday is, “I’m with Pioneer School!” The cashier will push a button that gives us credit for the sale and we receive 15% of whatever you spend that day. If you can’t attend the fair, then you are able to order online from March 10th to March 14th and credit will be given to our school when you put in our school code. The code is 12210183.

That wraps up a very exciting month of community involvement and wonderful family fun activities! I can’t wait to see what is coming up next!

—Mrs. Russell

Physical Education & HealthCartoon of Kids Playing Sports

Students are starting to get agitated with all of this freezing weather keeping them indoors! However, we have been trying to stay active. A favorite amongst all grades, has been the bean bag toss relay. It is a very competitive game that keeps the students moving! As always, the younger grades always find a favorite in freeze dance or freeze color. These are both games that can be played at home, so ask your student about it for some activity on those days where you’re stuck inside! Students have also been learning about the heart. They know how to keep it healthy, and why it is important to keep it strong! Students in grades 2-6 are learning how to take their pulse, and how different activities cause their heart rates to increase or decrease. They also are learning what their target heart rates are and what that means for their bodies. As soon as the weather warms up a bit, we will head back outside to get our wiggles and giggles out!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns! Have a marvelous March.

—Mrs. Eissinger

Cartoon Letter of PTA and Apple

Pioneer PTA

Pioneer PTA is rolling into March with our Martinsons Candy Fundraiser. Check out the Order form sent home with the kids and stock up for Easter ☺ The Panther PTA was proud to support Miss Montana in visiting our school and enlightening us about the different parts that play a role in participating and pageant knowledge overall. A special thanks to the teachers and those who helped make the pancake breakfast the huge success it was as well as those who attended. It’s always great to see everyone! Keep an eye out for our upcoming events throughout the rest of the year! Things are looking to pick up once some warm weather graces us with its presence.

Our next PTA meeting will be March 5th @ 6pm; membership enrollment is always open. Feel free to drop in and join us during our next meeting.

For more information visit our Pioneer PTA page

—Pioneer PTA Vice President, Paula Tokarski

Cartoon Nurse Notes Header Banner

Nurse Notes

February is Dental Hygiene month and the students learned about brushing and flossing their teeth. Kids are fascinated by science and biology, especially the human body. There is an abundance of interesting teeth facts for kids that explore their structure, development and importance. Here are some the kids can really sink their teeth into — so to speak.

  • Kids in prehistoric times likely did not suffer with tooth decay. The American Dental Association says thisHappy Tooth Cartoon for National dental hygene Month
    is because sugar was not a part of their diet.
  • Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body; because it’s so durable, healthy tooth enamel
    protects teeth from cavity-causing oral bacteria.
  • Teeth contain stem cells. In fact, according to SingularityHUB, some researchers are using dental stem
    cells to regrow human teeth. If successful, this technology would mean we can biologically replace lost
    adult teeth for the first time in history.
  • Unlike bones or other parts of the body, teeth are incapable of self-repair. This is why receiving fillings and
    other dental work is necessary to protect teeth from further damage.
  • Tooth decay is actually classified as an infectious disease because it is caused by a particular strain of
    bacteria passed between multiple people.

Historical Trivia on Oral Hygiene

Even ancient populations understood the importance of oral hygiene. And while their methods and practices were rudimentary compared to those of today, many ancient cultures would go as far as to chew on tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends to clean their teeth. The History Channel explains how ancient Egyptians even brushed their teeth using a powdery substance made from pulverized eggshells and oxen hooves. Using these ingredients in powder form, and mixing with water, was slightly abrasive and may have been an effective means of removing remnants left by food.

Here’s another lesser-known fact: The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s. A man from England named William Addis attached boars’ bristles to a bone handle, creating a toothbrush that was actually mass-produced. Brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed in the 1930s. Eighty years later, these products seem primitive compared to toothbrushes which now feature thin bristles for an even deeper clean.

Like most parts of human anatomy, teeth are fascinating. Luckily our modern
culture affords us easy access to dental hygiene tools and quality dental care.

—Karen Graf RN Pioneer School Nurse

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Pioneer School Board Trustee Opening

Book Fair Sign

There will be 2 seats open on the Pioneer School Board. You may pick up a nomination petition in the school office. In order to be eligible, the candidate must reside and be a registered voter in the Pioneer Elementary School District. Nomination Petitions must be turned in by March 29, 2018. The election will be held in May. School Board meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. We encourage our Panther Community’s presence!

Barnes & Noble Book Fair! Saturday, March 10th 11:00-3:00

Science Fair SignScience Fair: Thursday, March 15th, Judging begins at 9:00 am, Awards at 6:00 pm

No School! March 30-April 2nd

Easter Egg Hunt: Hosted by Shepherd Lions

Cartoon of SunshineSaturday, March 31st, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Shepherd Community Center (corner of Shepherd Rd and Haynes Rd).
Toddlers through 3rd Grade are welcome. Lunch will be available for purchase.

Save the Date: Coming Up in April:

Kindergarten Roundup! April 17th 3:30-4:30

Smarter Balanced Testing Week! April 23-April 27
Please ensure your child is present this week!

Kindergarten Roundup Kids Playing

Icon of PAWS Value of the MonthValue of the Month: All About Honesty


Hello! Here at school, we have been very busy learning about honesty – what it means, and why it’s important and how we can learn to work together! Learning
happens best when it is done both at school and at home. Below are many ways that you can help your child continue to learn about the theme of honesty through reading about it, talking about it, and practicing it! We have really enjoyed exploring this topic at school, and we hope your family will enjoy it just as much!

Read About It!

Here are some books to help you learn more about courage.

  • Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed
  • David Gets in Trouble by D. Shannon
  • Liar, Liar Pants on Fire by Dianna deGroat

Practice It!

Help your kids learn the difference between a truth and a lie with this simple game. You and your child take turns saying statements and the other person has to decide if it is a truth or a lie. A great game to play in the car on while you are waiting!

Talk About It!

  • Here are some discussion points to help you talk about courage with your child:
  • Has anyone every been dishonest to you before? How did you feel?
  • What do you think honesty means & why is it important?
  • Tell me about a time when it was hard to be honest.
  • What makes it hard to be honest?
  • How will others view you if you are honest? How will others view you if you are dishonest?